Smellmycheese's Blog

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People* sometimes** ask me what it’s like working from home compared to working in an office and so I thought it high time I laid out for all those interested folk just what the pros and cons of working from home versus working in an office are.

Pros:

You can work in your onesie and no one can tell you not to!

You can eat tuna sandwiches for breakfast and no one can tell you that it stinks or is making them feel sick because they’re pregnant or is making them feel sad because Bobby the Office Goldfish just died of a massive heart attack.

There are no colleagues to bother you with their bad body odour, bad breath and bad music tastes.

You no longer have to deal with office politics or listen to mind-numbing gossip in the kitchen/toilets/smoking area about people you don’t care about in the slightest.

You don’t have to coo over every Tom, Dick and Harry’s new baby as they’re brought in for a ‘show around’.

You are no longer expected to attend meetings in which you find yourself staring out of the window at a small squirrel and wondering what it must be like to just hop around all day, nibbling on nuts, scampering up trees… before you’re interrupted by your boss directing something at you to which you’re supposed to respond and which probably wasn’t about squirrels.

Probably the main pro though is that you no longer feel as though you’re dying inside, bit by bit, as the hours tick by, the meaningless business bullshit phrases keep coming, the endless meetings about the most insignificant of details take place and the realisation that you are simply wasting away your time on this planet lining the pockets of some fat cats at the top of some massive multinational company of questionable ethics looms ever larger.

Cons:

If you own a onesie you are an imbecile who looks like a huge, overgrown baby. I watched a programme once about grown men who get their kicks by dressing like babies, being bottle fed like babies and having their crappy nappies changed like babies. That is you.

You can’t play catch with Bobby the Office Goldfish anymore.

There are no colleagues to blame for your bad body odour and bad breath and you can no longer kid yourself that you only listen to crap music because you have no choice.

You stop receiving mail as the postman is not comfortable with the very long conversations you force him into in order to have some level of actual human contact. He particularly does not enjoy you making him have these conversations with you in your bathroom.

Inviting babies into your home is not socially acceptable. And they almost always have other plans.

There are literally no cons to not having dull meetings in which seeing a squirrel outside is the most entertaining thing to happen for the entire working week.

You are broke now though.

Image

This look says ‘Hey, I’m a fully grown adult lady woman, but I’m also a mad cow. Let’s party!’

(*no one)

(**never)

You know what gets right on my wick?

Everything, obviously. But apart from that, charity b*stard muggers get on it royally. I’m aware that having a pop at these irritating slimeballs is like shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes shooting fish in a barrel is called for.

I hate them. I hate their faux chirpy bullshit, I hate the fact that they try to guilt trip you into giving money, I hate that you can’t walk down a street in Leeds without tripping over at least ten of the pesky little vermin and I hate that they’re getting paid to be annoying wastes of space.

Seriously, if you care so much, go volunteer at a soup kitchen or do a sponsored silence instead of getting in my face with your wacky, wacky comments. “Hey denim jacket lady!” Nice one. I am definitely now going to sign up to give £10 a month to The Royal Society for Retired Gerbils for the rest of my life on the basis that you’ve noticed a thing I am wearing, and have commented on it.

In case your sarcasm detector is defunct, I’m not. I’m actually probably never going to give money to The Royal Society for Retired Gerbils purely on the basis that you’ve annoyed me, and many retired gerbils may now be slightly less fulfilled as a result. I hope you’re happy, charity muggers.

So, if you feel like I feel, you can assuage your niggling sense of guilt by instead sponsoring me to do a fun run tomorrow for Children with Cancer UK.

See what I did there? I ambushed you with a charity request. Sorry about that, but at least I’ve not commented on your clothes (although they are GREAT and if I could see them I would definitely comment to that effect in the hope that it would somehow appeal to your ego and therefore make you give me money).

If it makes a difference, this particular ‘fun run’ won’t be that fun for me. Thanks to a bout of insomnia for the past couple of weeks, I’ll be dragging my weary body around the track wondering why I signed up to do this thing in the first place. So that should make you donate, shouldn’t it?

And it IS for children. With cancer. In the UK. Okay, so the third bit of that isn’t too relevant but if the rest of it doesn’t tug at your heart strings then perhaps you haven’t got one and instead there is a small, shriveled raisin in its place, pathetically pumping dribblets of cold blood around your body. I’ve lost the metaphor… point is, please donate if you can.

http://www.justgiving.com/leah-kayles2013#

(If you don’t I take back what I said about your clothes. I hate them.)

Favours? Who the hell needs favours? I don’t mean good deeds or kind acts, I mean those little bags of sugared almonds (in the 80s) or tubes of Love Hearts (now) you get on the table at weddings. What a total waste of money!

And, really, what’s the point in a wedding cake? Just to have a photo? Why bother. No one even likes the taste of fruit cake, no one ever bothers to eat it. Grab a caterpillar cake from ASDA for a couple of quid, bang a groom and bride topper on it and job’s a good ‘un.

As for flowers. Why pay for a florist? Flowers GROW IN THE GROUND for Chrissake. They’re free! Well, free when you ‘borrow’ them from a neighbour’s garden or from the local cemetery… What?! They won’t notice, they’re dead.

So, that was my attitude to weddings just a few short months ago (bar the cemetery flower-stealing. I’m not actually a terrible person). As long as I looked good, the guests all had enough booze and the DJ played Gangster’s Paradise (for me to rap to, obvs), I was happy.

I was certainly NOT going to turn into one of these girly girl women who spend all day, every day Pinning pictures of flowers, cakes, cake toppers, bridesmaid dresses, favours, bunting, table plans and f*cking seat covers to Pinterest.

Nor was I going to obsess about the minute detail of all of the above, to the point where I would only dream in the EXACT shade of dusky pink (it’s not baby pink; they are very, very different) and muted, natural green (you have to say the ‘muted’ and ‘natural’ bits otherwise it sounds crap) that would make up my colour scheme.

And I certainly wouldn’t wake up in a cold sweat over the thought that my bridesmaids might not choose the specific shade of pink for the accessories to complement the aforementioned colour scheme, and I certainly would never be such an anal wedding freak as to send group messages via What’sApp, email, Facebook and good old-fashioned email and text message to my bridesmaids with pictures relating to my colour scheme approximately five. times. a. day.

So yeah… what a clueless fool I was back then.

Best part is: there’s still eleven months and two weeks to go. Not that I’m counting (but I bet my bridesmaids are)…

Image

This is NOT the correct shade of Crimson Red!! You have RUINED my life. 

Christ on a bike, I’ve not written a post for almost a year! And the last one was well depressing.

So, just like Christ, I’m getting back on my bike and pedaling. For bike, you can read blog, and for pedaling you can read typing. And for Christ you can read whoever the chuff you like. He doesn’t care, he’s too busy having a right laugh on his proper ace bike. (Sons of God do not have crap bikes, and that’s a fact.)

A lot has changed in a year. One thing is I have finally left (well, finally left AGAIN) the utterly soul-destroying period of my life that was working in marketing behind. HURRAH!

I mean, not all of it was shit. We had some good nights out and got free sandwiches once a month at the agency meeting. But the sandwiches weren’t great and the work was on a par with a massive tuna bap: you think you want it, you enjoy it at first, but after a while your breath just stinks.

What I mean by that of course is that I was terrible at it. Every single solitary aspect of my personality, interests, opinions and morals is not in any way compatible with working full time in a marketing agency.

I don’t care about making money for companies or having ‘conversations’ with consumers in their online ‘journey’. I don’t want to hear about a deck unless it’s a deck of cards and we’re playing some form of drinking game. I do not have a ‘capacity pocket’. You can keep your marketing baloney in your own pocket. Mine is full of a probably used tissue, 1p, an old train ticket and a potentially hazardous extra strong mint circa February 2011. Because that is what pockets are FOR.

I couldn’t give two tiny rats’ buttocks if a brand resonates with an audience. I don’t want to know where people go online, what they do when they’re there, what they’re thinking when they click a mouse or how we can ‘engage’ them. Plus everyone knows the answers to those questions are: porn sites, watch porn, show them more porn. (Apart from my Mum who thinks the internet has one website, Google, and looks at how to make patchwork cushions on it. Probably.)

If no one reads this post, I don’t care. I only ever wrote stuff online because I liked it, it was fun and I could rant away with no one telling me to shut up. But then I accidentally got a job doing it, but not writing fun stuff anymore and, ironically, sucking all the fun out of the fun thing that accidentally got me the job in the first place.

But no more! I’m alive, I’m back and I’m here to rant whether I’m simply shouting into the empty abyss or to a varied and diverse audience of engaged consumers. I just don’t give a TOSS.

Smell that? That’s the sweet smell of freedom my friends.

My take on the Julian Assange debate raging at the moment, written hastily so apologies for any errors.

I am absolutely gutted that Tony Benn has waded in and revealed himself not to be the man I thought he was. [Edit: he actually waded in some time ago, back in 2011, but the video only seems to be getting attention now.] He has said that the allegations are that “it was a non-consensual relationship…. well that’s very different from rape”. Now I don’t know all the legal ins and outs but from what I have read Assange had gone to bed with one of the women in question and had consensual sex with her, then had woken up and had sex with her without a condom, despite her protestations. That’s pretty much rape to me.

The thing that’s muddying the waters here is that many believe the charges have been trumped up or that the women have been coerced into pressing charges in order to serve the political interests of those in power who find Wikileaks, and therefore Assange, dangerous/a threat. This has led to a split amongst left wingers who like freedom of speech (e.g. Wikileaks) but don’t like rape (obvs), and has sadly led to comments from the likes of prominent left wingers such as Tony Benn and George Galloway along the lines of ‘non consensual sex is not the same as rape’. Reminiscent of Whoopi Goldberg’s comments a few years ago that when film director Roman Polanski gave drugs to and sodomised a 13 year old (which he admitted to) it wasn’t ‘rape rape’. Hey, she did look older and he is really good at films, after all…

Here’s the thing, and it’s very simple really: non consensual sex is the same as rape. If you’re unsure if someone wants sex, it’s best to ask them. If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to talk about it.

Whether Assange is being pursued for political reasons and the charges are false is a completely. different. debate. and one which definitely needs to be had. But the debate isn’t whether penetrating somebody who clearly doesn’t want you to is rape or not. That can be answered easily: it is.

So please, Tony Benn and the rest of you, stop redefining rape. Concentrate on the injustices you believe Assange is suffering by all means, but keep the two things separate.

And that’s my two penneth.

Wow. Since I wrote my first blog post and second blog post about Simon Macbeth and Leeds Domestic Cleaning, things seem to have snowballed and my blog has received more and more comments from people who have experienced similar problems with Simon. Some in relation to Leeds Domestic Cleaning, others in relation to his various other companies (Outdoor Fitness Leeds, Design Market, Films by You, to name just a few) and others still recounting times they’ve been ripped off by him in his capacity as a landlord.

If you visit the Leeds Domestic Cleaning Facebook page now [edit: the page now appears to have been taken down] you will see that it’s flooded with negative comments from people who, like me, paid for a service they did not receive and then failed to receive a refund.

You’ll also notice a message on the Facebook page and on the Leeds Domestic Cleaning website itself stating that Simon Macbeth has sold the company and giving the personal email address and phone numbers of the people who have apparently bought the business (on eBay) and telling customers of Leeds Domestic Cleaning who are still owed money to contact these people: Natalie and John.

After Natalie commented on my blog I spoke to her on the phone and what Natalie told me had in fact happened is that she bought some cleaning equipment and web design from Simon Macbeth, not the Leeds Domestic Cleaning business, and has not actually received everything she paid for. She is seeking legal advice about this and about the fact that Simon Macbeth has published her email address and phone number without her permission, resulting in her fielding calls and emails from Simon Macbeth’s many disgruntled and let down customers.

In the meantime, I have reported my experiences to BBC’s Watchdog/Rogue Traders and suggest that anyone else who has had a bad experience with Simon Macbeth and/or Leeds Domestic Cleaning please do the same; the more people who report this story, the more likely it is that it might get covered.

It’s fantastic that my blog posts have become a forum for Simon Macbeth’s disgruntled customers to share their terrible experiences (please read the comments under my second post; they have to be seen to be believed) but unfortunately no one finds my blog until they have already suffered negative experiences with him, as it’s then that they Google ‘Simon Macbeth’ and ‘Leeds Domestic Cleaning’. And by then it’s too late!

So I’m hoping that if enough people help spread the word by sharing this blog post on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ (not only will it help spread the word to your friends, it will help increase the blog posts’ search rankings so they show up when people search in Google for Simon Macbeth and Leeds Domestic Cleaning) and by reporting your stories to Rogue Traders if you have suffered similar experiences then we’ll get to a point where people are warned about Simon Macbeth and his various business before they lose any money.

Thanks in advance for helping to spread the word. All comments welcome!

Ah what fun I have had with Simon M Macbeth of Leeds Domestic Cleaning over the past few days. For all those not familiar, please read my initial Leeds Domestic Cleaning blog post to get up to speed on the astoundingly shoddy service I have had at the hands of Simon M Macbeth and his operation, Leeds Domestic Cleaning (trading as Design Market).

In short, I paid for a cleaning service, no one turned up and then Simon M Macbeth dealt with the situation by fobbing me off with offers to send me photos of my front door (to ‘prove’ someone called and which of course never transpired), only offered to make a second appointment as a ‘goodwill gesture’ when I called him after his emails offered no solution, pretended to be someone else (I believe), before cancelling my second appointment and refusing any further contact, never mind a refund.

I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by sharing links to this blog post (and/or my first post) on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and anywhere else you can think of, as I have effectively had money stolen off me (and you doing this will help my posts’ search rankings so hopefully other people can be warned). If you can also write on Leeds Domestic Cleaning’s Facebook page saying that you have heard negative reports and therefore will not be using them, that would be brilliant. They will just delete negative comments written on their wall (they’ve done this with me and others) so the best bet is to write it as a ‘recommendation’ on their page; they seem unable to delete these.

Read on for the second lot of email correspondence between myself and Simon M Macbeth, plus ‘Mark Wang’, who, coincidentally, makes exactly the same grammatical errors as Simon and writes in an all too familiar manner. Funny that…!

Subject: RE: KGB Oven

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:19:58 +0100
Hi Leah,

I have checked and thus can confirm that you are already booked in on the 12th May 2012 at 13:30.

Many Thanks

Mark Wang
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Always a sure-fire sign someone can’t string a coherent sentence together if they resort to unnecessary use of ‘thus’ and ‘hence’, if you ask me.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 09:32:06 +0000

Thank you. I am still waiting on a photograph of my front door as offered on Monday (see previous emails). Can you tell me where this is please?

Thanks,
Leah.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:56:47 +0100
Hi Leah,

I will speak with Simon regarding the photos that Pauline had taken from outside your house. Having spoken to Paulina she kindly informed me that she deleted them after you advised Simon that you would not beleive they was taken on the day of your clean. I guess you thought that we would drive to yours the following day and take the photos then?
Many Thanks
Mark Wang
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Note the use of ‘was’ instead of ‘were’. Exactly the same mistake Simon made in his email offering to send me a photograph of my front door to ‘prove we was there’.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:13:26 +0000
Hi Mark,

If you look at the emails below (which you will also have in your own emails) you will see that this is not the case. I asked to be sent the photos anyway to ensure that the cleaner would go to the correct address this time.

I quote: “please send me the photo anyway so I can ensure the cleaner goes to the correct address next time. Thank you.”

This was sent on Monday. Paulina was not due in the office until Tuesday according to Simon. So when would she have been given the incorrect impression that she should delete this mystical photograph…?

I have tried to call several times over the past two days and keep getting put through to answer phone. Can you please call me on XXX? It would be nice to speak to a different representative of the company to get their take on my experiences. I wasn’t aware there was another Client Manager as I have only ever spoken to Simon. Or failing that, if you could just answer the phone I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 22:21:56 +0100

just wanted to confirm that your booked for 12 May 2012 is cancelled
Many Thanks
Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

I left another voice mail at this point asking if Simon could have the decency (and guts) to call me back at least once and explain this to me. He of course didn’t. He sent an email (as usual) instead.

Hello Leah,

I’m not happy with the defamation posted over the internet about myself and LDC. Due to this we are no longer willing to work with you.

Since we did previously attend your property and you failed to let in our cleaner we are under no further obligation to you.

Please stop with your continuing phone calls and emails as this is our final respo

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:33:45 +0000

Hello Simon,

It’s interesting that you are not happy with the ‘defamation’ posted on the internet about your company (all of which is nothing but the facts). I am not happy with the abysmal treatment I have had at the hands of you and your shoddy operation. You have taken money from me and not provided a service, so you are certainly under an obligation to refund me or provide the service and I will not be ceasing the phone calls, emails or internet activity until you do this.

You keep insisting that someone turned up on the date of my appointment. As I have told you several times, no one buzzed my intercom that morning.

You offer to send me a photo to ‘prove’ you were there. I take you up on this laughable offer, the photo never transpires, and then a ‘Mark Wang’ mysteriously appears who makes exactly the same grammatical errors as you and believes Paulina has deleted this (obviously mythical) photo.

I’ll be honest with you Simon, I don’t believe there is a Mark Wang. I believe that was simply you emailing me.

I don’t believe that Paulina took a photograph of my front door on Saturday. I don’t believe Paulina came to the correct address and I know she did not ring my intercom. I can prove I was in all day and you have yet to prove anyone called at my address.

I do believe you chose to ignore my phone calls and I know you have blocked me from your Facebook page. I also know you could have phoned me at any point to try and sort this sorry mess out, rather than fob me off with mythical photographs and promises of emails and (it would seem) mythical members of staff.

It’s interesting that I’m not the only person who has experienced this complete lack of customer service from you, as demonstrated by a Ripoff Report I read online.

I am a social media manager and have now written reviews for your company on Google, Google Plus, Ripoff Report and my own blog. I have filled my posts with mentions of your company’s name and asked as many people as I can to share links to my blog post to ensure that it appears in search when people Google your company name. I have asked people to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook and I will continue this until as many people know about your shoddy operation and complete lack of customer service as possible. Or until you refund me or provide the service as paid for.

This could all have been avoided if you had any grasp of how to treat customers in a courteous manner and had simply offered me another appointment in the first place, without me having to call and chase you. Simply replying to me by email telling me unequivocally that your cleaner had turned up and offering no solution or apology is not acceptable and the way you have dealt with the situation since then has gone from bad to appalling.

As well as the continued contact and internet activity I will be looking into how trading standards and the CAB can help me and whether I can take this to small claims court if necessary. If you decide to do the right thing and refund me, you have my number.

Thank you

Leah
I am not in control of what you do however this will be the final time I reply to you.
Many Thanks
Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

update: the same Simon M Macbeth runs several companies, including Outdoor Fitness Leeds and it would appear that he has been reported for scamming before. It looks like he could also operate under the names Simon Naylor and Simon Greenwood and has a reputation on the internet for various scams, if it is the same person. 


So this blog post is basically just my chance to get it out there that Leeds Domestic Cleaning, trading under Design Market, is shoddy as hell and the manager, a Simon M Macbeth, has a hell of a lot to learn about customer service and social media. It’s not a fun read, barely even interesting, but hopefully it will mean that when people are looking for a cleaning company in Leeds, or if they Google Leeds Domestic Cleaning, they’ll have the benefit of my warning.

(The repetition of ‘Leeds Domestic Cleaning’ and ‘cleaning company in Leeds’ is for SEO purposes.)

And Simon M Macbeth, if you’re reading, this could all have been avoided had you simply rearranged my appointment without me having to chase you, not deleted my posts from your Facebook wall and blocked me from posting further and dealt with me in a courteous and friendly manner. You really know how to rub people up the wrong way, as demonstrated by a fellow disgruntled customer on Ripoff Report. Ever heard the phrase ‘the customer is always right’? Perhaps you should heed it.

And, before the inevitable smartarse comments about doing my own cleaning start, I have never paid for a cleaning service before in my life and I doubt I ever will again now! I took up this offer because it seemed like a great deal. How wrong I was.

Read on for my cautionary tale about this cleaning company in Leeds:

I paid for an oven clean online with KGB Deals  and then upgraded to also receive a fridge freezer clean when I booked the appointment with Leeds Domestic Cleaning, trading under Design Market. Google them if you like; I don’t want to give their website any inbound links.

The cleaner failed to turn up. I was in waiting at the time of the appointment and for several hours afterwards. My intercom works and there is no reason I would not have heard it.

I called later that day explaining no one had turned up and sent a message via the Leeds Domestic Cleaning website’s contact form.

I received a response from Leeds Domestic Cleaning manager Simon M Macbeth later that day and the correspondence proceeded as below:

Subject: KGB Oven
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 14:17:03 +0100

Hi Leah
 
Paulina arrived this morning and waited around 25 mins after there was no reply on the intercom

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

___

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 07:58:23 +0000

I can assure you that did not happen. I was up from 9am and in waiting all morning. Why would I make this up? I would have heard the intercom so I can only think she’s gone to XXX East, XXX North or XXX South rather than XXX West. 
This really isn’t a satisfactory response and I would like my money back. Please call me on XXX
Thank you,
Leah 

___

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:29:48 +0100

Hello Leah,
 
Nobody is saying that you have made up anything – Im sorry that it seemed that way to you.
 
If you like I will email over to you a photo of your front door to show you we was there.  Paulina is due in our office on Tuesday so I will have access to it then.

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

___

I then called Simon and he said he was not prepared to offer me a refund but that as a ‘goodwill gesture’ he would make another appointment for me. He said he would send me an email confirming this. I sent the following email after our phone conversation so I could have in writing what we agreed, and I also asked for the mystical photograph of my front door as promised:

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:56:54 +0000

Hi Simon,
Further to our phone conversation, if you could confirm in writing for me that someone is coming round for the oven and fridge freezer clean at 1.30 on 12th May as already paid for, that would be great. 
Being based in Leeds, I wouldn’t imagine it would be too difficult to take a photo of my front door at any point, so it proves very little. However, please send me the photo anyway so I can ensure the cleaner goes to the correct address next time. Thank you. 
Please give the cleaner my number: XXX so that she can call if she struggles to find me again. 
Thank you,
Leah. 

___

Two days later, no email had arrived. I called Simon and he said that he had sent an email along with this supposed photograph of my front door. He didn’t know why I had not received it, but he would re-send it in 10-15 minutes.

Nothing had arrived the next day and so I tried to call Simon again. I was put through to voicemail and so left a message which I followed up with this email:

Hi Simon, 

I left you a voice mail this morning to the following effect:
Following our phone conversation yesterday (Wed) in which I told you I had not yet received the email confirmation of my new appointment or the photo of my front door which you said on Monday that you would send on Tuesday, you said you had sent the email and you did not understand why I had not received it. You said you would send it again in around 10-15 minutes. This was at around 12.30pm yesterday; I have still not received the email. 
I have checked my Junk mail folder, although I can’t imagine why there would now be a problem with me receiving your emails there has not been previously. 
If you can get back to me on the phone and in writing with the confirmation of the new appointment on the 12th May and the photo you offered to send me, that would be great. 
Thanks, Leah. 

___

Since this, I have had no reply from Simon and I have noticed I have been blocked from writing on the wall of Leeds Domestic Cleaning’s Facebook page, and a comment I posted there regarding the cleaner not turning up has been deleted.

The company I bought the voucher from (KGB Deals) has refunded me, but the extra service I paid for directly to Leeds Domestic Cleaning cannot be refunded through them so I will be going into the office in person to try and get this secondary refund back from Simon M Macbeth in person.

The ironic thing is that had Simon simply responded to my initial contact in a polite way offering to make another appointment for me, I would have been happy with this and would not have had a problem with Leeds Domestic Cleaning. As it is, I had to chase to even get this and I can only assume that because I have already paid, Simon is not bothered what happens next and is now choosing to totally ignore me.

I would advise that, if you are looking for a cleaning company in Leeds, you do not use Leeds Domestic Cleaning as the service is not only unreliable, the manager is rude, abrupt and has no grasp of how to deal with customer service issues.

Cautionary tale over.

I have definitely got it (Facebook fatigue, that is). Or at least fatigue at a certain kind of update.

I have found myself increasingly bored of seeing updates about what people are doing with their weekends, evenings, lunch times, bed times… I just can’t remember why I ever used to care. Did I care? I think I did, Or at least, it didn’t used to make me annoyed at a large percentage of the human race in quite the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to be just as guilty as the next person of updating my Facebook with what I was eating, where I was going, where I had been and yada yada yawn. Then I realised that not only was I hugely disinterested in the minutiae of other people’s lives so why the hell would they be interested in mine, I realised that, actually, I actively do not want people to know where I’m going, what I’m doing and who I’m seeing, unless I choose to tell them personally for some reason.

It’s not just the ‘who cares’ factor either, it’s the cringe factor of people flaunting how fun! and busy! their lives are on a regular basis.

So I’ve for the most part stopped updates about my personal life. Oh and blocked people from checking me in without approval, so that other people can’t decide to share the insignificant details of my social life for me.

(Obviously if I’m going somewhere amazing and exciting or have a moment of weakness and feel like I must let people know I’m having fun! and I have friends! and I eat food! I might succumb and do an update, so don’t hold me to any of this.)

For now though, I’m getting such Facebook fatigue that I’m getting to the point of hiding updates from almost everyone, which would make being on Facebook slightly pointless.

Why don’t I leave? It’s entangled me in its web of millions of my photos that don’t exist anywhere else and a general feeling that I somehow need it to exist in the real world. It is becoming another platform for me to be annoyed at people on and I am just too scared to leave it, goddamit.

The good thing about Twitter is that people tend not to spew as much mundane personal dross as on Facebook. They tend to share funny or interesting observations, articles, pictures or thoughts and not tell the world how they’re in a bar on a Friday (amazing news!) is or how they’re having an early night (stop the press!). Or, at least, not the people I follow. But then, I don’t tend to follow people I know in real life on Twitter.

So there are a few possible conclusions here: everyone I know in real life bores me/Twitter is better than Facebook/I am just becoming grumpier than ever.

Probably the last one. Right, I’m off to have a bath and eat some pickled onions.

I sent my first real letter of complaint today (well, email) and thought I would share it all with you. Usually I just bitch and moan on here so this is quite an achievement. Names have been changed for the purpose of this blog post (very clevery, I’m sure you’ll agree) but otherwise this is what I sent word for word.

To whom it may concern,

Hello. I have been using your Headingley store for many years now (although it has not always been a Bainsburys, the staff have remained mostly the same) on an almost daily basis (as it is two minutes from my work place) and in all the time I have been visiting I have had the same complete lack of any kind of customer service from one particular member of staff. This member of staff’s name tag was ‘Bangela’ yesterday (I haven’t bothered to check previously as it’s only just got to the point where I’ve really had enough and have decided to complain.) I assume this is therefore her name but I guess she could have been using someone else’s name tag.

Bangela will literally not speak to me when serving me. Not one word. I’ve tested on several occasions whether if I don’t say anything either, anything at all will be said. No, it won’t.

To paint a typical picture for you, I went in the store yesterday and the day previously and took my items to the cigarette kiosk where she served me. I placed said items on the counter. No ‘hello’, no smile, nothing. She then didn’t tell me the final amount, she just sort of looked at the till display. I gave her my money, she took it, gave me my change, and not a word was said throughout the whole transaction, no ‘thank you’, no ‘goodbye’, nothing. This was the case on both days and every time I’m served by her;  a bit like a very quiet Groundhog Day, if you will.

Now I know she CAN speak, as she finished her conversation about her son with her colleague before she started serving me in silence.

I also know this is not a one-off. Every time she serves me, which must total thirty times or more over the years, it is in complete silence and with a faint look of disgust on her face.

I don’t know this lady personally and have never done anything to offend her that I am aware off.

Whether she treats all customers like this or if it’s a personal vendetta, based on who knows what, I also don’t know. But I am pretty sure I have seen her say at least ‘thanks’ to other customers.

I’ve worked in bars, shops and supermarkets. It’s really not that hard to at least say hello and thanks. I don’t want a cuddle and a kiss, I don’t even want a conversation. I just don’t want to feel as though I might be invisible or as though I am a terrible person for attempting to purchase a packet of Bnack a Backs.

This lady makes shopping trips a bemusingly depressing experience and I am tired of it.

I’ve done nothing to deserve such ignorant treatment and neither have most other shoppers, if indeed they are receiving it. I can speak to the store manager as well but I have avoided doing so to date as I’m sure it will make future shopping trips even more unpleasant.

Please can you let me know what you are able to do to help me with this?

Thank you,

Leah.


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